World of Warcraft: Legion Interview

I suspect that most people who were looking forward to Blizzard's World of Warcraft: Legion expansion pack are spending this weekend in-game, but if you can tear yourself away for a few minutes, there's an interview with lead game designer Luis Barriga up on MMOGames. Topics include their plans for patch 7.1, the expansion's smooth launch, post-release feedback from players, and more:

Many aspects of WoW have been streamlined during the last few expansions: Stats, gear, talents, abilities, etc. Are you afraid that the reduction of complexity, and min-maxing potential, might drive away veteran MMO players?

Not at all. We hear that comment a lot and then we look at the numbers. We look at the players who are at a mid-tier and the players who are cutting edge, the difference is still pretty huge. I think a lot of times players misjudge complexity because they fight against a target dummy, but the reduction in complexity of rotations and buttons lets us keep the encounters really engaging. Imagine if fighting a dummy, or Patchwerk, was so complex that it was challenging, we wouldn’t have the ability to add complexity on top of that or to layer cool boss mechanics.

We heard all of that same criticism when Hearthstone was coming out. Oh, this is a very simplistic card game, and as we see now in the competitive scene it takes some really advance people to master it. It’s a symbol of one of our pillars, which is ‘easy to learn, hard to master.’